Professor Nigel Harrison

Pro Vice Chancellor & Dean

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care

Nigel joined ARU in February 2020 as Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care. The faculty is a large multi-site organisation responsible for educating many of the region's future key workers – including nurses, doctors, midwives, allied health professionals, social workers, and education professionals. Nigel oversees the portfolio and development of education, research and innovation for the faculty. This includes ARU’s School of Medicine, and course provision across three campuses: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

Email: [email protected]


Nigel joined ARU from The University of Central Lancashire ((UCLan) where he was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing. While at UCLan, Nigel led faculty and university self-assessment teams leading to faculty and university Athena Swan Bronze Awards, recognising work on developing gender equality. He was one of the first Principal Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, and has also worked in the voluntary sector, chairing a regional Age UK charity and holding the position of governor in an NHS Foundation Trust and University Technical College.

Nigel has worked as an adult and mental health nurse and cognitive therapist in clinical and management roles in the Midlands, London and North West, within a range of statutory, voluntary and charitable organisations. Nigel is a member of the National Council of Deans of Health Executive Team, and UK lead for education impact. He chairs the council’s Student Leadership Programme advisory group focused on students as co-creators of their learning and he is co-chair of the East of England Student ‘Repair’ (Retention) Regional Delivery Board.

Research interests

  • Stakeholder perceptions of academic and practice dishonesty and approaches used to promote academic and practice integrity in nursing students
  • Evaluation of supervisor & mentor experiences supporting Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Workers (PCGMHWs)
  • Enhancement of service user and carer involvement in course development, delivery and evaluation
  • UK-wide student leadership programme: Findings from a national survey of health care students.


  • Registered Nurse Adult
  • Registered Nurse Mental Health
  • Diploma in Professional Studies in Nursing
  • BA (Hons) Health Studies
  • PGDip in Education
  • PGDip in Primary Care Counselling
  • PGDip in Cognitive Therapy
  • MA Counselling Studies
  • EdD in Education

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member Royal College of Nursing
  • Member British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Member British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • HEE East of England Funding Innovations in placement, 2020, £230,000
  • HEE Strategic Development Fund for pump priming development of 3 new health programmes, 2020, £299,736
  • HEE Funded co-chair North of England Repair retention project, 2018, £120,210
  • Chair Advisory board for Burdett Trust funded follow-up project on behalf of Council of Deans of Health - students as future leaders project, 2018, £186,000
  • HEE Increase placement capacity in Primary Care/PIVO settings, 2017, £170,000
  • Chair Advisory board for Burdett Trust funded pilot project on behalf of Council of Deans of Health - students as future leaders project, 2017, £243,000
  • Co-ordinated and chaired conference ‘Working together on apprenticeships in health care practice across Lancashire & South Cumbria’ - Union Learn funded, 2017, £1,750
  • HEE tender for Nursing Associate Programme as ‘fast follower’ test site with 3 provider organisations, £470,000 in 2016 & £1,995,000 in 2018.

Media experience

  • Chair, Health Care Student Mental Wellbeing Webinar, Council of Deans of Health, 5 October 2020
  • Student Leadership Programme presentation and panel member, Learning to Lead in Health & Care Webinar, The Council of Deans of Health and HEE Leadership Academy, 29 September 2020
  • Presentation and panel member, Student Mental Wellbeing Council of Deans of Health and Universities UK Webinar, 16 July 2020
  • BBC Radio Lancashire interview, NHS 70 year celebration – future of Higher Education, John Gillmore and Shigufta Khan programme, 7 July 2018
  • Reception for frontline nurses who had made a significant contribution to nursing, HRH Prince Charles, Buckingham Palace, 3 March 2018
  • BBC Radio Lancashire interview, Changes in healthcare education funding, The Graham Liver Breakfast Show, 1 August 2017
  • BBC One interview, Changes in healthcare education funding, BBC Breakfast, 1 August 2017